Idea #509 – Exploring the archeological and historical site of Ouplistikhe in Georgia
The troglodytic city of Ouplistsikhé (in Georgian: “city of God”), situated on Mtkvari in 10 km east of Gori, in Georgia, is one of the oldest human establishments of the Caucasus. The city grown up from the first millennium BC, and reached its peak between 600 BC and 337 AD, date of the conversion of the Christianism in Georgia.
Originally, the city was one of the most important heathen sanctuaries of Karthlie-Iberia. It remained a point of stage mattering on one of the caravan tracks of the silk route during the Middle Ages, losing however gradually of its importance, in particular after the transfer of the capital in Tbilisi as capital by David IV. The city was destroyed by Tamerlan, then finished by several earthquakes, of which that of the 1920.
The site, now uninhabited, presents some more of 150 troglodytic housings on 700 of origin, dug on the cliff. The site counts a former theater with an octagonal ceiling, the “room of queen Tamar” – probably a royal palace – and the “church of Ouplistouli”, a basilica of the IXe century and Xth century century, near the ruins of a former heathen temple. The site is registered on the indicative list of the world heritage of the UNESCO.
Where is it?